Living on the third day

Welcome to the third day – the day when everything is different because of that day – which John calls the first day of the new week, when the tomb was empty. On Friday we waited in silence and we mourned and lamented. We so often live our whole lives on Friday. We are shocked by the latest scandal, disaster, war or sin. We live in quiet despair, in anxiety and fear. We imagine that the darkness that we see around us is all that there is. But that is not the end of the story. Jesus didn’t stay on the cross and his body is no longer in the tomb. Everything is different now because we live on the third day. The day when we remember that resurrection changes the game. Resurrection shows us that God has not finished with the world yet – the world that he loved into creation. This world that we call home is slowly being changed and transformed, renewed and restored. God has not abandoned our world and God will not abandon our world, because this is the world that he loves. But it is only when we leave Friday behind that we have the eyes to see how and why everything is different on the third day – on Resurrection Sunday. But the choice is ours. We can choose to stay and live on Friday. Or we can believe in the one who left Friday behind and begin to live with him on the third day – to be children of the resurrection.

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Recorded at St John Vianney (8’49”)
Easter Sunday morning.

Resurrection Day (Vigil)

The Easter Vigil provides us with the opportunity to be immersed within the story of our salvation and the continuing work of God – from creation to redemption. So it is only appropriate that we make Alleluia our song as we celebrate the day of Resurrection and become builders of the new creation.

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Recorded at St John Vianney (11’55”)

Music included Gospel Acclamation 1 from Rivers Youth Mass (emmanuelworship) and Alleluia (Iona Community)

Betrayal, lies and grace

The Palm Sunday liturgy crams an amazing array of emotions into an hour – from the jubilation of the triumphant entry into Jerusalem to the heartbreak and desolation of betrayal, sleep, violence, cowardice, lies, false witness, racial abuse, denial, pride, anger – the reality of so much human sin on display. It is precisely into all of this sin that the person of Jesus enters and journeys – until he can take it all on board in the violence of the cross and allow love to win the final victory.

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Recorded at Mater Dolorosa, 10am (5’35”)
Palm Sunday. Matthew 26-27.

Roll the stone away from the stink

This most powerful healing story – perhaps the ultimate miracle with the raising of a man four-days dead – begins so simply with a description of the fact that a man called Lazarus was ill. Most of our English biblical names have come to us via the Latin Vulgate translation. In the original Hebrew, Lararus would have been called El’Azar – which means God helps and he lived with his two sisters Miryam and Marta in Bethany (or Biet’Anyah, which means ‘house of the afflicted’) – an appropriate place for someone who was ill. El’Azar then becomes a sign for anyone who is afflicted in anyway, and who needs the help of God. So why does Yeshua (Jesus) wait two days to visit his beloved friends?

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Recorded at St Francis Xavier Cathedral, 9.00am (12’06”)
Lent Sunday 5A. John 11:1-45

Blinded by the light

To truly appreciate the full scope of this sixth sign in the gospel of John – the healing and faith of the man born blind – we need to remember the full scope of John’s spiritual vision. John is always leading us to look back to the beginning of creation and forward to the wonders of the new creation that was already breaking in through the ministry of Jesus and would find its final fulfillment in the resurrection of Jesus. Let us journey with the man in his encounter with Jesus, the neighbours and the pharisees across the eight scenes of this story to see where we also may be led.

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Recorded at Mater Dolorosa, 10am (10’59”)
Lent, Sunday 4A. John 9:1-42.